The Lower fees, local skills initiative has delivered a huge increase in Western Australians taking up vocational education and training courses at the State’s TAFE colleges, with courses in the electrical trade, aged care and early childhood attracting the most enrolments.. The initiative is designed to support Western Australians to gain affordable and valuable qualifications in areas local industry needs. Introduced from 1 January 2020, Lower fees, local skills has seen 52,300 enrolments in eligible courses so far this year — an increase of 27 per cent compared to the same period last year — equipping Western Australians with the skills needed to fill jobs now and into the future.
And the good news is the WA State Government has extended the course fee reductions and fee freeze on targeted courses until 31 December 2025!
Rolled out to make training more affordable, Lower fees, local skills has slashed course fees for 180 VET qualifications by up to 72 per cent in priority areas including construction, engineering, defence, METRONET, information technology, hospitality and tourism, agriculture and community services. While some of the courses have been offered at a reduced cost longer than others, across the State the most popular reduced fees courses to date include:
- Certificate III in Individual Support (3,660 enrolments)
- Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician (3,150 enrolments)
- Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care (2,380 enrolments)
- Diploma of Nursing (1,680 enrolments)
- Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care (1,280 enrolments)
- Certificate II in Electrotechnology (Career Start) [Electrotechnology Pre-Apprenticeship] (890 enrolments)
- Certificate III in Education Support (1,080 enrolments)
- Certificate IV in Training and Assessment (840 enrolments)
- Certificate III in Surface Extraction Operations (490 enrolments)
Premier Mark McGowan and Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery visited North Metropolitan TAFE’s Balga campus today, where there has been an increase in electrical trade enrolments — up almost 15 per cent per cent from about 2,700 at this time in 2020 to 3,100 so far this year.
- Enrolments in electrical trades courses at Balga TAFE are up by 4 per cent from 408 this time last year to 424 so far in 2021, with particularly strong growth reported for younger students aged 15 to 19 (up 24 per cent).
- The most popular electrical trades course at the Balga campus is the Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician, attracting 382 enrolments so far this year.
- Across the State as a whole, there has been 3,150 enrolments in the Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician this year, with a further 890 enrolments recorded in the Certificate II in Electrotechnology Career Start [Electrotechnology Pre-Apprenticeship], a 10 per cent rise for both courses from last year.
“Western Australia’s economy is booming, with growing demand across a whole range of sectors for skilled workers to fill local jobs and support our businesses, big and small." said Mr McGowan. “Our success in managing COVID-19 has seen WA’s economy perform better than almost anywhere in the world through this crisis — but this is having an impact on supply chains, including significant demand for labour. My Government has had a keen focus on revitalising the State’s TAFE sector over the last four years — with a range of measures put in place — and these results show that investment is working. There is still more to do to manage these significant pressures and the Skills Summit we are hosting later this month will continue our efforts in conjunction with the business sector to address these issues. There has never been a better time for Western Australians of all ages to upskill at one of the State’s TAFEs so they can take advantage of the raft of job opportunities available now and into the future.”
Minister Ellery said “We have recently extended our TAFE fee freeze through to 2025. Keeping training fees low will ensure all Western Australians can continue to upskill or transfer their skills for a new beginning and is essential to engage young people in training that leads to jobs. It is really pleasing to see people taking up these opportunities and I encourage anyone who is looking for a career change or needs alternative employment to consider TAFE as a way forward"